9-11-15 New Releases, featuring birthday cards and apple pancakes

This week’s new releases were a lot of fun to work with!

I love scrapping birthdays. I know a lot of scrappers see them as a bit of a chore, but I love finding all the little stories of someone’s special day. That never gets boring for me. If anything I probably over-scrap birthdays.

Jason’s 40th birthday was a pretty big deal, and definitely one of the most important things I’ll scrap this year. I have at least 20 stories I want to tell from that week, which I know sounds crazy. I’ve done several pages already, but none yet about the present opening extravaganza.

I narrowed the photos down to my favorite 30 or so. I wanted pictures of each present, plus a few more of him just looking happy and excited and cute. Then I stared at them for a few minutes feeling totally lost as to what to do. Slowly though, stories started to emerge. I jotted down a few ideas, enough to make three pages. I noticed three themes in the pictures I’d chosen- cards, 49ers gear, and handmade presents. I set those aside and the rest I’ll probably just plop down in a Project Life style template.

I’ll be sharing lots more birthday pages over the next couple of weeks.

2015-04-07 Cards web

Journaling reads- Jason got a bunch of cards for his birthday, including an origami card from Charles, a Braille card from Jeannie, and one from Steve from Japan!

A Very Happy Birthday kit by Aprilisa
House Party template by Little Rad Trio

My second LO doesn’t have nearly as long of a backstory. It’s about some awesome apple pancakes that Jason makes.

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Journaling reads- Jason made delicious apple pancakes this weekend for the first time. They would become one of our favorite brunch foods.

Apple-licious kit by LJS Designs
House Party template by Little Rad Trio

*I am a Creative Team Member. This means that I receive free products in exchange for making and advertising layouts for designers. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The enthusiasm expressed here is definitely my own. See more of my CT layouts here.

Travel Tuesday- Louisiana 2014

Y’all know I love scrapping my Louisiana trip from last year! I’ve made around 30 so far, and I have many many more to go. Here’s the latest batch.

Oh, Abita Cafe, I miss you so…. This happy morning themed kit was just perfect for my photos.

2014-11-24 Good morning Abita web

Journaling reads- We had the BEST breakfast in Abita Springs. Catfish and shrimp, crab cakes and poached eggs- that was a meal we’ll remember for years to come. We loved it so much, we went back the next morning for more! November 24, 2014

Credits: Good Morning kit and cards by Cornelia Design
Heartfelt template by Dagi’s Temp-Tations

This next one is more of an AAM page, but the photo was taken in Jackson Square, so I’ll just plop it in here. Travel photo can work double duty as personality pages. Love this doodled border, and I can’t get enough striped backgrounds, so perfect for journaling.

2014-11-24 good job web

Journaling reads- Because sometimes I can’t stop talking long enough for him to take a picture. #GoodJobJen New Orleans 2014

Storyteller Quinn and Doodled Page Borders 2 by Just Jaimee

Up next are a couple more pages from our wine tasting. I’ve already shared two, here and here.

2014-11-28 Winery web

More Wine, Less Whine by Little Rad Trio
Cluster Madness template by Ponytails Designs

2014-11-26 Behind the Scenes web

Journaling reads- It was so interesting getting to see the process behind the scenes of how all the different wines were made. From straining the grapes, to the barrels where they aged the wine, and corking and labeling the bottles, it all made us realize just how complicated it is to make wine. We learned a lot!

Carpe Diem kit by Little Rad Trio
Day By Day 2 by Dagi’s Tempt-tations

Thanks for stopping by!

This is 2 of 37 All About Me pages I plan to make before I turn 38 in February 2016. All of my 37 in 37 LO’s can be found here.

*I am a Creative Team Member. This means that I receive free products in exchange for making and advertising layouts for designers. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The enthusiasm expressed here is definitely my own. See more of my CT layouts here.

Thanksgiving in July, part one

Last week (July 2), we decided to do Thanksgiving in July. Little Man had mentioned a few weeks ago that he couldn’t remember ever having a turkey for Thanksgiving. We will use any excuse to brine a turkey, so challenge accepted! (Because of course you want to use the oven when it’s 95 degrees outside, right?)

But first, we had to do Thanksgiving Eve.

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LM and I made our tradition summer drink, basil lemonade. He is an excellent lemon squeezer. We reminisced about that one year when he had to squeeze all the lemons by hand before we got the lemon squeezer contraption thingy. Which I guess is still squeezing the lemons by hand actually. But whatever…


While the lemonade cooled, I made sausage balls.


We took a quick swim break, and I started prepping the panzanella. When Jason got home, he helped me finish that up and cooked the brine mixture.

IMG_1899 We were all pretty wiped at that point, so we put ice in the brine to cool it down enough to put the turkey in. It was a late night, but so worth it the next day!

From our weekend

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Last weekend we spent a much needed three days at home together. Jason took Friday off and we saw The Amazing Sider Man 2. We had a Starbuck’s date and tried out lots of new cheeses at The Cheese Course.

Saturday was the kickoff of iNSD and I got in a full day of scrappy goodness. I made ten pages, which is a personal record! Jason did a little gaming and watched movies.

Miss Kitty has been super snuggly and wanting All The Attention since we got back from Orlando.

Sunday we had our first swim at the new place. It was lovely. We did a few laps and sat in the hot tub, which did wonders for my knee. We came home and got caught up on Once Upon A Time. Can’t wait for the season finale on Sunday!

Making pierogi

Jason’s dad came to visit last week. We did a lot of exploring and had a great few days together. Jason had to work on Friday. John asked me if I wanted to surprise him with homemade pierogi. Of course I said yes!

Pierogi are a big part of their family story. John came to the U.S. as a child and grew up making them with his mom. When Jason was little, he remembers sitting around the table making them with his grandmother. They’re kind of a big deal.

We made them from Cioci Jasi (Aunt Jane)’s recipe, but I can’t wait to experiment with my own fillings. When I have, I’ll be sure to share.

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Oh Bruschetta….


You are my favorite. I don’t know why I don’t make you more often. We’re enjoying the second season of tomatoes right now, and man they’re good. And yes, I fully realize that most of the country is facing record breaking cold weather right now, so keep hatin’. And come visit. 🙂

Along with the tomatoes, I got the biggest, loveliest armful of fresh basil for $2 this weekend. I see a lot of bruschetta and pesto in my future!

My version of bruschetta is super easy. Slice up some french bread (or cuban, or whatever). Chop up some basil. Seed and chop a couple of tomatoes. Pile it all on top of the bread. Salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil.Slice some fresh mozzarella and lay that on top. Pop in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Christmas 2013


Happy Boxing Day!

We had a really great, low-key Christmas here. It was basically a repeat of Thanksgiving, food-wise. I did a lot of prep work on Christmas Eve. I made our usual pre-holiday panzanella and sausage balls, plus Wilbur cookies. When Jason got home he made the brine for the turkey and we opened some champagne to celebrate our anniversary a few days early. (I think we spent just as much time photographing the champagne as actually drinking it)


Then we settled in for some dinner and TV. Notice my super classy ziplock bag containment apparatuses.


We had decided not to give each other presents again this year, which causes much controversy among our family and friends, but takes an enormous amount of pressure off ourselves. But Jason surprised me on Christmas Eve with the sweetest most romantic letter- that rhymed! It was funny and romantic and I just cried and cried. It is seriously one of my very favorite gifts he’s ever given me and I’m still smiling like a big goober just thinking about it.

We slept in on Christmas morning.then lazed around the house a bit before starting to cook.


We had leftovers for breakfast and talked to the Little Man. He loved the presents we sent.


The cooking part took a lot longer this time for some reason (I think maybe because somebody kept opening the oven door to obsessively check the turkey). Jason played games and I looked at blogs and prepped side dishes. We watched the Mentalist and SNL Christmas special. Shweddy balls never gets old!

MK, aka “The Sniffer” was very interested in my table setup.


The turkey finally finished cooking and I started in on the sides.


And I just realized Jason was wearing his same PJ’s from Thanksgiving 😛 Clearly our holiday dress code is very casual.

IMG_6417 IMG_6418 IMG_6425Here’s our menu-
dressing (I changed this up quite a bit, so I’ll post a recipe next week)
mashed potatoes in the slow cooker (I subbed cream cheese for the sour cream again)
my infamous broccoli casserole (writing out the recipe made me war it again)
roasted squash with garlic and basil
Hawaiian rolls
cranberry sauce

It was all really tasty, and I can’t say enough good things about that turkey recipe. If you’ve never brined before, definitely give it a try!

Weekend Ten: Fake fireplace, Bloons, and Christmas at City Place

Jason had a three day weekend, yay!

We spent Friday morning by the light of a roaring (fake) fire. Because it was 85 degrees outside. In December.


Then we went downtown to check out the Christmas tree made of sand.


And walked around downtown looking at the lights.

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My dad asked me last week if we decorated palm trees for Christmas. Of course we do!

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After doing a little window shopping, we finished off the night at City Pizza for some tasty Stromboli and chocolate mousse cake. So delicious!

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One last thing of note this weekend. Little Man got me hooked on Bloons TD5 this fall. It is not even funny how much time I’ve spent on this game. Jason and I have started playing co-op, and doing pretty well, I must say! We may or may not have stayed up until almost 4 in the morning playing one night this weekend.


Here are a few pics of the holidays at City Place from last year.

So that was our weekend. How was yours?

Our Thanksgiving


We had a really nice low-key Thanksgiving this year. It was just the two of us and I have to say, we rocked it!

I tried to get as much done on Wednesday as possible. I made cornbread for dressing the next day. Jason was having a rough day at work, so I put up the tree as a surprise for him. His face lit up like a little kid’s, which was just the reaction I was hoping for 🙂


I made our traditional Thanksgiving Eve dinner of panzanella and sausage balls. I don’t know how this tradition started, but we’ve been doing it for three or for years now. It’s nice because we have leftovers that we can munch on while we make Thanksgiving dinner.


We brined a turkey for the first time ever and it was So Good! We will be doing that again for sure.It was a bit cumbersome wrestling with our 18 pound turkey, but it was so worth it for the juicy deliciousness.


Here’s our Thanksgiving menu with links to recipes-
mashed potatoes in the slow cooker (I subbed cream cheese for the sour cream)
steamed broccoli and cauliflower with parm
Hawaiian rolls
cranberry sauce
apple pie and ice cream


We pared the menu down a bit from our usual because I’ve been battling a cold since we got back from West Virginia. But we pulled it together and it turned out great.

Here’s what we did last year.

Some of my favorite veggie sides


I’m pretty obsessed with veggies lately. Summer means a ton of fresh produce at the farmer’s market. Plus, I’m always trudging towards that “healthy lifestyle” thing. Which doesn’t always work, but I try to have at least two veggie sides at dinner most nights.

Here are some of my favorites that are in heavy rotation. I use a mix of fresh, frozen, and canned veggies, depending on what’s on sale and how much time I have.

Asparagus (always fresh, never ever ever eat canned asparagus!) My favorite way is cooking using this method with pesto. I’ll usually use jarred pesto, I haven’t had much luck making my own so far). It’s also great with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or dipped in balsamic vinaigrette.  Asparagus is Amazing dipped in Siracha dip. (I couldn’t find my recipe, but this is similar)

Broccoli (fresh or frozen). I’m not really fussy with broccoli. I like it plain with salt and pepper. A squirt of lemon juice or a some parmesan cheese is nice. It’s also great with the Siracha dip above. Actually anything is good with that. When I’m fancy, I’ll make broccoli gratin. (That recipe is worth a read to learn how to deal with broccoli stems).

Cabbage (fresh) This is my go-to slaw recipe. I also really love this spicy version, but I omit the peanuts.

Carrots I’m not a huge carrot lover. But we tried this carrot puree recipe earlier this year and it was really tasty. I also put shredded carrots in almost every soup that I make, along with celery and onion.

Cauliflower (fresh or frozen) Anything that can be done with broccoli can be done with cauliflower pretty much. I really like this spicy roasted cauliflower. (spicy is the key work here). You can also treat cauliflower like potatoes, like mashing or roasting. And of course, tossing it with some parmesan. I think the theme of this post should be “Put some parm on it”

Corn (fresh, frozen, or canned) I don’t have a “recipe” but my favorite way to eat corn is with a few shakes of onion powder, a couple of scallions, a little butter, salt and lots of pepper.

Cucumbers (fresh) This is my favorite way to eat cucumbers. I also love this cucumber salad with tomato and feta. (I omit the olives). Another super simple fresh cucumber salad recipe. If you like it spicy, this Chinese cucumber salad is yummy.

Green beans (fresh, frozen, or canned) I have a couple of green bean recipes that I’ve made for years. For Cajun green beans, drain a can of green beans and a can of diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you like it super spicy) Add a tsp of Cajun seasoning, and hot sauce to taste. Fresh steamed green beans are great with dip too. I’ll eat them cold that way with Siracha mayo as a snack.

Mushrooms (fresh) I’ll throw mushrooms in a lot of things, from soups to tacos. Sautéed mushrooms with thyme and white wine mushrooms is one of my very favorite sides. You can also roast them.

Peas (fresh, frozen, or canned) Another non-recipe recipe, but I really love adding lemon pepper seasoning to peas.

Spinach (fresh) This garlicky spinach recipe is my new favorite way to eat spinach. I can’t find my favorite creamed spinach anywhere, but this is very similar. I also love adding spinach to soup and smoothies.

Squash and Zucchini (fresh) I’ve been eating this recipe for zucchini and feta for a long time. I make a variation of it almost every week. Sometimes I skip the feta, sometimes I add mushrooms. I could eat it every day.

Of course one of the best ways to up your veggie intake is with salads in jars.

You might have noticed a trend in my recipe recommendations. I get the vast majority of my veggie recipes from Kaylin’s Kitchen. Even if you’re not into South Beach or low carb-ing it, her site is a fantastic resource for healthy food. You can type the name of any vegetable into her search bar and come up with a dozen or more recipes. I can’t recommend it enough!

I hope this helps of you find yourself in a vegetable rut. I love trying new recipes, so if you have one you love, please share! 🙂